Munich, Germany’s #2 startup ecosystem, is an up-and-coming city for minting successful enterprises. In the last few years, it has established itself as one of the best places to start a company or business, with a report from mid-2020 revealing the city already ranked fourth by the number of realised, unrealised, and potential future unicorns in Europe.
Even though the Bavarian city is a historical business hub, ranking third in terms of GDP for Germany in 2018, Munich's startup scene especially flourished during the concluding half of the 2010s. Data sourced from Munich Startup, an official portal for the city and its metro area, reveals that, from the more than two thousand of verified startups founded since 2009, around 60% saw the light from 2016 onwards.
Venture capital is betting big
Even though the number of rounds surpassed the 100 count in 2013 — hinting at Munich’s status as a healthy financial centre — and has kept growing steadily ever since the most revealing measure to gauge Munich’s transformation into a “Bavarian startup nation” of sorts is the total cash spent by VC investors in the very last years of the past decade.
Even if the number of rounds grew by — a considerable — 20% from 2017 to the following year, it was in 2018 when total venture capital investment genuinely blew up: VCs went from funding €583 m in 2017 to €1.1 billion in 2018, a sensational 88% increase year-on-year. For comparison, those percentage gains are similar to those that took place during the dot-com era of Silicon Valley.
How a balanced culture drives productivity in Munich
The jump in investment is directly reflected in the number of employees working for Munich-based startups. If in 2018, around 13 thousand people — roughly 1.5% of Munich’s workforce — were working in startups founded from 2010 onwards, by 2022, that number had grown to more than 100 thousand, which is around 7% of the total Bavarian population. In a 2019 report, a former Google executive who had joined Munich startup Usercentrics — a €100 m-valuated company that offers a solution for staying GDPR-compliant — claimed that a balanced, sound culture was a vital aspect of this ecosystem.
According to the executive, many long-standing businesses are having difficulty attracting and retaining top talent because millennials prefer not only a stimulating and rapid learning environment, but also one in which they can avoid burnout, both of which can have a significant negative impact on productivity and, ultimately, earnings. Amid the Great Resignation that the executive presciently alluded to, the Munich startup ecosystem answers this uneasiness.
Culture — not just workplace culture — is a central item in Munich, with an exciting and innovative arts scene, hugely influenced and in conjunction with cutting-edge technology, all of which is translated into the startups that are arising in this city.
This vibrant community is looking to lead the way into the future, and we can see how culture and business become mutually influential and give place to some interesting results. Not only are they innovative, both in ideas and technology, but they are also helpful and have great potential to look into the future. The world is changing quickly, and Munich will not be left behind.
Top startups in Munich
With all that being said, let’s take a closer look at some of the top startups that have emerged out of Munich in the last few years. We’ve taken into consideration valuation, funding, and projected growth for each of these new startups. At the end of this article, you’ll find the best Munich startups ranked by valuation and growth.
In this new age of content production, get the platform you deserve and achieve financial freedom through TreasureHunter! This platform offers to acquire and optimise your content, all the while preserving the site’s DNA, which is known and loved by its regular consumers. At the same time as TreasureHunter retains the essence of the content it acquires, it finds a way to make it visible to a larger audience through AI impulsed technology, making you, the content creator, financially independent.
TreasureHunter also offers the opportunity to grow together and pull together the profits in a conjoint adventure! This startup sets a clear example of how business and cultural events may be entwined to give way to a new manner of interdisciplinary ties. The dialectical relationship of choosing how much ‘soul’, as what gives content production value, to give up for ‘standardisation’, as what makes a business successful (franchising), should no longer worry you: you can get the best part of both poles through TreasureHunter.
Founded: Jun 2021 Size: 11-50 Valuation: €7-11 m
In face of the educational crisis that has taken place after the regular order was altered by the COVID-19 pandemic, ubiMaster is attempting to rise up to the challenge of renewing education. Through their easy-to-use app, they offer almost immediate live tutoring oriented towards a specific problem the user describes. Rather than giving a whole class on general points of a subject, they attack the specific difficulty that is causing trouble, and they are always readily available to do so. Their professors go through a multi-stage screening process, so you are sure to get the best available.
In these times, it’s often increasingly difficult to maintain concentration during a lapse of several hours, so Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s idealist plan for education is undoubtedly out of the question. Although founded just before the start of the pandemic, ubiMaster took the reality of post-pandemic life as it is and created an alternative for a better formation of the individuals who will lead us into the future. It’s proving to be an efficient learning method: their valuation grew around 325% in the last year!
Founded: 2019 Size: 11-50 Valuation: €10-15 m
3. NEOsphere Biotechnologies
At the vanguard of the Munich biotech hub, NEOsphere Biotechnologies is creating value through strategic alliances by creating small molecule degraders as therapeutic agents targeting untapped disease targets. They developed cutting-edge mass spectrometry technologies to screen an unprecedented molecular landscape and, through that, to connect innovative degraders to previously undruggable proteomes. This startup is at the forefront of the future of medicine, they can identify and monitor biomarkers by creating mapways in which diseases work through protein interactions, and thus create new drugs or even prevent diseases.
Founded: 2022 Size: 2-10 Funding: Undisclosed
This startup, started by polyglot Niao Wu and one of Germany’s leading female-founded startups, is here to change the way we work in the hybrid-workforce world. Through their platform, they monitor home-office work. Their solution to the new global working situation is to offer companies an individual portal for employees and employers. Their motto is “home office as a service!”. As analyses and assessments of digital hazards associated with working from home, advice on ergometry, and guided “mini-breaks” make their way into the new global working culture, Onyo is here to help businesses through the transition by offering their service.
Aside from facilitating flexibility, and productivity and helping towards employee retention, Onyo promotes a more sustainable work approach. Their effectiveness and necessity in this changed world are reflected by the 1000% growth in their employee base they experienced in the past twelve months.
Founded: Sep 2021 Size: 11-50 Valuation: €9 m
With internal markets booming and delivery necessities growing, Driverhero is here to simplify the process of deliveries and transportation needs, as well as the search for jobs, given that it is a complete company. They intend to connect businesses and drivers through a simple app. But they are not limited to transportation, they also offer jobs in logistics, production, and services. This Munich-based startup allows jobseekers to communicate with employers, find different jobs which allow for growth, and all it takes is for the seeker to register in a two-minute process on the platform.
Founded: 2021 Size: 11-50 Valuation: €10-15 m
The founding team of planqc brings together decades of study on neutral-atom quantum technologies from throughout the globe. Their quantum computers are based on the accuracy of the best atomic clocks, Rydberg gates, and quantum gas microscopes in the world. The Munich Quantum Valley, with its extensive network of research institutes and corporate partners, creates a distinctive quantum ecosystem for businesses. Planqc is the first startup to come out of this ecosystem. Atoms are used in artificial light crystals in these quantum computers, which is the quickest approach to scale to a useful quantum advantage. The future goes hand in hand with quantum computers, and planqc is right there to open up a path for us.
Founded: 2022 Size: 11-50 Valuation: €18-28 m
In our current times of ravaging consumption, where climate change and animal rights are a growing concern, Greenforce offers a new and sustainable approach to food production. One of the greatest pollutants in the world is the meat industry, given the amount of food and space that massive cow farms require for exploitation. This startup is rethinking the food market, and they offer 100% vegan and sustainable products in order to protect the environment and give an answer to the problem that is food production under an unsupervised and damaging culture.
Founded: 2020 Size: 50-200 Valuation: €60-90 m
Also on the forefront of renewing the means of production and helping the environment is Insempra. Insempra uses biology to empower companies to use nature to create better products. Technology and bioscience are the bases from which they grow materials for new and improved products. Confronted with the limited nature of the resources used up to this moment, they decided to innovate rather than stay in the same old rut until it became critical to have an alternative; they are the alternative! Insempra plans to lead the regenerative revolution, and they are doing so by setting back the balance between mankind and the world. It’s time to create superior products using the matter available in nature!
Founded: 2021 Size: 11-50 Valuation: €55-82 m
9. Zing Coach
This startup offers a simple solution to the great need for physical exercise. This interactive mobile app allows for individualised training, particular workout programmes, and more, with the benefit of immediate feedback and the help of a virtual coaching system made by world-class fitness experts! Its AI-powered programme has inbuilt deep learning and personalised custom workout features, so the more you use it, the better it works. Not only that, but it also guarantees effectiveness and safety for the user. If you require quality training for an affordable price, and you also require or want to stay at home, Zing Coach is ideal for you. They offer a behaviour-changing approach that impulses the desire to exercise daily, making workouts specifically for each user so that they are comfortable and get the most out of it.
Founded: 2021 Size: 11-50 Valuation: ~
What is the answer to life, the universe, everything, and the looming energy crisis? 42 (watt). As energy efficiency and BAFA-certified experts active nationwide, this startup helps and guides your home power renovations through an approach focused on efficiency, aesthetics, and sustainability. To that purpose, they create a Roadmap of Individual Rehabilitation, sponsored by the State, which shows what changes are necessary and offers the best solutions to the energy crisis, as well as having the best savings potential. Through their guidance, 42watt enables builders to renovate their homes more straightforwardly, faster, and sustainably. Faced with global tendencies of crisis, especially in all energy-related, this company rises to the challenge and plans to be victorious.
Founded: 2021 Size: 11-50 Valuation: €4-6 m
The Munich medal board
Best Startups by valuation and growth
TreasureHunter had a 7.8x growth rate in 2022, making it the fastest-growing company out of the ten listed, according to Crunchbase. The growth rates of NEOsphere Biotechnologies (alleged 5x), Onyo (4.7x), and ubiMaster (4.2x) were all impressive.
For a startup to have a “growth rate of 7.8x in 2022,” the company's worth must have multiplied by that number in that year. Although this may indicate that the firm has increased its annual recurring revenue (ARR) or that it has successfully obtained funding, neither of those things is required. According to Crunchbase, TreasureHunter's valuation increased from around €1 million in January 2022 to €8 million in December 2022.
Since it’s a private endeavour, the market valuation of NEOsphere is less clear, but sources claim they closed on a Series A investment round. Since, in mid-2021, the global average for Series A was over €17 million, we can include it as one of the fastest-growing companies in terms of valuation.
The up-and-coming startups from Munich
While all of our ten Munich-based startups have a unique and promising approach to solving modern-day problems, 42watt, an energy conservation consultancy that assists with energetic property renovation, stands out as the most up-and-coming startup. It might be wishful thinking, but, from their name onward, they seem to confront a grim world and a looming crisis with optimism: They're treating a grave reality — sustainable energy at home amid rising prices — with a surreptitious, witty, and light-hearted reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Thanks to their roadmap, they help homeowners renovate their homes more efficiently, with a focus on aesthetics and sustainability. While it's service-oriented and not product-based, the startup's ability to adapt to the changing global trends and its positive impact on the environment and the economy makes them a standout startup to watch out for. Greenforce is another Munich-based startup that has the potential to make a significant impact on the environment. This seems especially hard in a country known for abounding in currywurst stalls, Greenforce is a bold undertaking. Finally, because of their premise, Zing Coach and ubiMaster have the potential to exist outside Munich and the DACH zone very fast.
As we can see from the inclination of the companies that are being founded in Munich, this city has gotten a grasp of what is going on in the world; with a record €5.0 billion invested in funding rounds during 2021, its tech community doesn’t intend on being left behind; instead, they are trying to set the pace and lead the way into a new world, where balance is not only sought but is absolutely necessary.
This innovative and vibrant district is learning about the dialectical relationship between apparently opposing poles and finding the perfect ways to synthesise what is best for each side. They are showing the world their intrepid comprehension of Hegelian philosophy through their incredible grasp of the dis-involvement of history, and of how progress works. They are trying to get ahead of the curve, and if you want to do so yourself, you better follow their example!
The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.
Static and dynamic content editing
A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!
How to customize formatting for each rich text
Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.